By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
ARIES [March 21–April 19] "Weaseling out of things is important to learn," said Homer Simpson. "It's what separates us from the animals—except the weasel." I normally don't share that sentiment. My standard advice is to face up to situations and take responsibility for the part you played in them. But I'm going to rebel against my custom this week and endorse Homer's approach. You may be on the verge of getting sucked into a mess that you had no role in creating. Either that, or you'll be asked to carry out a mission that is irrelevant to your goals. In either case, you have cosmic permission to weasel out.
TAURUS [April 20–May 20] I'm going to bring up a sore subject only because I think you're finally ready to make it much less of a sore subject. The truth as I see it is that a part of you got petrified way back when. A formerly fluid and flexible part of your psyche got turned into stone, creating distortions throughout the rest of you. Now, after all this time, you have circled back to a phase when you have the power to at least partially un-petrify this lost function. To get the process started, I suggest you turn your attention to it in such a way that you feel like laughing and crying at the same time.
GEMINI [May 21–June 20] Poet Gerard Manley Hopkins coined the verb "to selve," which is what a person does in the process of creating his or her distinctive presence in the world. Writing this column is an ongoing opportunity for me to selve, for example, because each time I conjure up a new horoscope I exercise the idiosyncratic combination of skills, attitudes, training, and knowledge that is special to me. You are in a phase when you have a sacred duty to selve with extra intensity and alacrity. In fact, I suggest you be ruthless in seeking out experiences that give you a chance to tap into, cultivate, and express your most unique qualities.
CANCER [June 21–July 22] Here comes your ninth loss of innocence, Cancerian. Or is it your 10th? As you will soon prove once again, you manage to make every time feel like the first time. When the moment arrives, the twinge that shudders through you will have the same intensity you've experienced before. But here's the redemption: Like most of the previous transitions, this one will lead to a blessing you couldn't have gotten any other way. When your innocence is reborn—as it will be, sooner or later—it will be wiser and wilder than ever before.
LEO [July 23–August 22] There's a small chance that the following scenario will soon come to pass: You'll be invited to become part of a situation that promises to give you privileges or inside information, but after you join you'll find out that your participation would require you to compromise your principles. But there's a far greater chance—over 80 percent—that the following scenario will take place: You'll be invited to join your fortunes to a group or circle or tribe or situation that won't ask you to dilute your integrity or betray your values at all. In fact, it's likely to activate a dormant part of your potential. The moral of the story, Leo: Be very discerning.
VIRGO [August 23–September 22] Right now, you have more power than you realize—more power to understand confusing situations and more power to overcome your apparent disadvantages. In fact, the only factor that could prevent you from accomplishing way more than what you thought possible is a lack of confidence. Please note: I'm not urging you to cultivate an arrogant faith in your ego. Instead, I'm clueing you in to the fact that there are hidden forces at work you can call on to help you—wisdom that has been dormant, love that has been neglected, and allies who have been mum.
LIBRA [September 23–October 22] According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the longest love letter in history was written by an man named Harish Kondakkuli. The 143-page message took him more than three months to complete. Oddly, it was addressed to an imaginary woman, since there was no one in his life he was actually in love with. I encourage you to consider the possibility of exceeding his achievement in the coming weeks, Libra. You're at the peak of your ability to express wickedly delicious passions and profoundly tender intentions. There may even be a real person, not an imaginary one, who warrants your extravagant outflow.
SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] Postsecret.com is a website where people can anonymously reveal their feelings. I came across one entry that I think would be perfect for you to use as your own in the coming weeks. "I don't want to cover up my scar," it read. "It's a good conversation starter and it makes me look bad-ass. But thank you anyway!" To further inspire what I hope will be your fearless effort to claim the power inherent in your wounds, I also offer this spur from musician and author Henry Rollins: "Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength, move on."
SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] In her irreverent song "Monster," rapper Nicki Minaj offers up a poetic sequence never before heard in the history of the planet: "Pull up in the monster . . . with a bad b-tch that came from Sri Lanka/yeah, I'm in that Tonka, color of Willy Wonka." I hope that you will soon come up with an equally revolutionary innovation in your own chosen field. All the cosmic forces will be conspiring to help you to do the equivalent of rhyming "Tonka" and "Sri Lanka" with "Willy Wonka." Please cooperate!
CAPRICORN [December 22–January 19] Time is the enemy of romantic love, said Andrew Marvell in "To His Coy Mistress." Medieval author Andreas Capellanus had a different idea, identifying marriage as the enemy of romantic love. In Richard Wagner's opera Tristan and Isolde, Tristan rails against the daylight, calling it the enemy of romantic love. And in their book Immediacy and Reflection in Kierkegaard's Thought, the editors theorize that "capitalism, which makes a fetish out of sex . . . is the enemy of romantic love." While all of those statements may be true, they're only mildly relevant for you right now. The most dangerous enemy of romantic love—or any other kind of love, for that matter—is this: not listening well. Overcome that enemy, Capricorn.
AQUARIUS [January 20–February 18] In an age when bee populations have dropped dramatically, some gardeners have found they need to pollinate their tomato plants manually. One woman I know tickles each bulb of seeds with a toothbrush. Another uses a camel-hair brush. Metaphorically speaking, Aquarius, I suspect you will have to try something similar in the coming weeks: making an intervention to facilitate a fertilizing process that doesn't quite seem to be happening naturally.
PISCES [February 19–March 20] In the coming week, your psyche may sometimes have an odd tingling sensation that resembles what happens when you hit your funny bone. Is it painful? Is it pleasurable? Maybe some of both, with the net effect being a command to wake up and play harder, love stronger, and notice more beauty. If you respond to that mandate with even a moderate amount of passion, I suspect you'll get a surprising reward: At least one of the secret laws of your own nature will reveal itself to you, rising up clear and raw in a sweet waking vision.
Homework: What name would you choose for yourself if you couldn't have the one you do now? Write: FreeWillAstrology.com